Susan Polgar wins 2003 Open Blitz Championship

8/13/2003 – The 2003 US Open Blitz Championship fielded a lot of seasoned GMs, like Ehlvest, Wojtkiewicz, Browne, Sharavdorj, Blatny, plus lots of IMs, Senior Masters and Masters. This tournament, one of the strongest in recent history, was won by a woman! GM Susan Polgar, four-time women's world champion, took the title with a sensational 11:1 points. You'll be surprised to learn the circumstances under which she won.

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Playing in the US Open Blitz Championship was a harrowing affair – at least for the Susan Polgar, who captains the US women's olympic team and is deeply involved in the promotion of chess in the US. On the day of the blitz championship she was awake before sunrise, had meetings with USCF delegates at 7 a.m., then took part in another chess event at Dr. Joe Wagner's house. Her partner Paul Truong (with whom Susan did a startling interview in her last Chess Cafe column) drove her to the playing site with two minutes to spare. Susan ran up to her room, changed her clothes, then ran down to the tournament hall.


Susan Polgar at the US Open Blitz Championship 2003

In spite of this the feisty young lady won game after game. Her only loss was when she split 1-1 against Aleks Wojtkiewicz. Her clock ran out while he had less than one second left. Paul, who was taking pictures and videotaping each round, told us that he found the whole experience quite nerve-racking. "I felt much better when I played at the US Open Blitz in 2001," he said (Paul tied for 1st with GM Roland Schmaltz at the time). "It is a lot easier for me to play than to be a coach or second. Less nerves involved when you play yourself."


The US Women's Olympiad training team, with the NYC Sports Commissioner Ken Podziba: Irina Krush, Jenny Shahade, Susan Polgar (captain), Rusa Goletiani, Anna Zatonskih.

US Open Blitz Championship 2003 Wall chart

GM Zsuzsa Polgar
NY
2546
11
GM Alek Wojtkiewicz
MD
2652
10½
IM Enrico Sevillano
NV
2563
9
GM Walter S Browne
CA
2540
9
GM Sharadorj Dashzagug
2511
9
IM Jayson Gonzales
NY
2404
9

Other notables:

GM Pavel Blatny
NY
2539
6
GM Jaan Ehlvest
NY
2662
4

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